Poco M5 review: Looks different, runs fast but 4G in 2022?
With 5G services all set to roll out in India soon, the focus is now to make 5G enabled phones more affordable. From Vivo T1 to iQOO Z6 Lite and a few others, we have seen some impressive 5G phones with decent features over the years. While most of the companies are racing to bring feature packed 5G phones in the affordable segment, Poco has recently launched the Poco M5 4G. Though the on-paper features look decent, the question is would you go for a 4G phone when India is all set to get 5G services in October? Since we all want to be future ready, a 5G phone would be our first choice. But we can compromise if the handset offers some exciting features, right?. Priced at Rs. 14,499, can the Poco M5 convince us to go for a 4G phone in the 5G era? Read here
Poco M5: Design and display
The Poco M5 has an eye candy design with leather-like textured finish on the back panel that gives it a premium look and feel. We have the Poco M5 in Cool Blue colour variant and it looks attractive, especially with a nicely complimented black camera island. Given how glass and polycarbonate are taken preference in this price category, this leather-like finish is quite refreshing and the device will surely grab some eyeballs.
On the front, the handset has a 6.58-inches Full HD+ display that offers decent brightness but harsh sunlight made me shade it for better viewing. Further, the display has a tear-drop notch housing the selfie camera, and noticeably slim bezels with a slightly thicker chin. The Poco M5 measures 163.99 x 76.09 x 8.9 mm and weighs 201 g, but you can manage it single handedly. The 90Hz refresh rate and 240 Hz touch sampling rate does offer smooth social media and gaming experience. The device also produces accurate and vibrant colors with crisp visuals but an AMOLED display could've enhanced the experience (especially on a 4G phone).
Apart from these, the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and comes with Widevine L1 certification, which means you can consume content in 1080p resolution on Netflix. The fingerprint sensor works fine, audio jack and speakers too offer decent performance.
Poco M5: Performance and software
The Poco M5 has the new MediaTek Helio G99 SoC chipset paired with up to 6GB RAM and 128 GB UFS 2.2 storage, offering smooth day-to-day performance like social media scrolling, watching content and others without any slouch. The device also comes with a virtual RAM that bumps it up by 2GB RAM. There is also a microSD slot for storage expansion.
I am not a fan of gaming, but I have played Temple Run 2, Subway Surfers and Candy Crush, and the experience was smooth. I didn't feel any lag or heating problems. But while juggling between apps, it takes a little longer for them to react.
Coming to software, the Poco M5 runs on MIUI 13.0.4 based on Android 12. However, a bunch of pre-installed bloatware leaves me disappointed. You can delete them, but the handset could've got a cleaner UI. Having said that, for similar prices, Motorola with its budget G series phone has really impressed me with the cleanest UI and no bloatware apps among others. Overall, the Poco M5 offers a decent performance for the price range it is being offered.
In terms of sound and audio performance, the Poco M5 features a single speaker that offers a decent sound in low to medium volume but gets distorted at high volume levels. The device comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is great.
Poco M5: Camera
The Poco M5 packs a triple rear camera comprising a 50MP main sensor, along with a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro shooter. For selfies and video calls, the Poco M5 packs an 8MP front-facing shooter. Images shot in daylight conditions with the primary 50MP rear camera come out clean displaying decent amounts of detail, however, it struggles with its HDR performance in some instances as it over exposed the light sources. Further, it does smoothen the skin tones, but there's not too much artificial beautification happening. Typical of Poco/Xiaomi devices, the saturation is bumped as well. On the whole, it looks good.
If you are shooting at night or in a low-lighting condition, the quality does degrade. The portrait mode and bokeh mode works fine. The macro mode is rarely usable while the lack of an ultra-wide sensor is quite disappointing.
Now coming to selfies, you will get clean and pleasant-looking images from its front-facing camera when there is ample light, but in low light the quality degrades. Check out the camera sample here
Poco M5: Battery
The device is backed by a 5000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. The phone runs for more than a day and half even with heavy usage that involves gaming for a few hours, scrolling through social media sites and listening to music. But it took me more than 2 hours to charge the phone from 0-100 percent and it's a major bummer. The company should have at least given its faster 33W charging here.
Poco M5: Verdict
The Poco M5 is a good looking phone with great battery life, decent cameras and good enough performance. The phone also features a headphone jack and a MicroSD slot for storage expansion. But there are a few things that could have been better, like lack of an AMOLED display and night time photography as well as 5G support. But given its price point, it's a decent choice if you seek a standout design as well as good performance. On the whole, if you are in the market looking for a 4G smartphone under Rs. 13,000 that is both fast and looks different, the Poco M5 is worth considering.
- Eye-candy design
- Good performance
- Decent battery life
- Poor low light photography
- Slow charging speeds
Display6.58-inches FHD+ Display
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G99 SoC